Tired of the same ole same ole? Here’s a sure way to change your daily grind!

Growing up, at school, we’re tossed into a group of peers who are involved in a similar life experience. The same applies for others’ on sports teams or various extracurricular clubs. Then in college, we meet a whole new slew of people we hope to connect with. Once in the workplace, we may enjoy the company of co-workers, but it doesn’t mean they’ll become our best friends.

Time to Bring in the New?

So, once we grow up, do we need to make new friends? First of all, your old friends can always remain friends, sometimes even for life. But as we shift positions throughout our aging journey, we have to expect that our needs will change too. Your “party” friend from your 20s may not enjoy a visit to the museum when you’re in your 40s.

Other “single” friends may not be able to relate when you are completely enveloped by parenthood. As you drift into your 50s and may be experiencing the empty-nest syndrome or are taking care of your own parents, you’ll need a crony who can relate somehow. With that established, it makes sense that we need to seek out new people in our lives for close friendship.

How do I Make New Friends?

Examine the things in your life that you’re passionate about. Do you love going to the movies? Are you an outdoorsy person? Do you like to volunteer? My mother, for example, loves geology, rocks, stones, and fossils.

She joined a lapidary group where like-minded folks get together and whittle down gems and stones into beautiful little pieces of art. The group chats up a storm while they are creating. That activity led her to find a small group of new friends who now spend Saturdays at fairs selling their jewelry together.

Don’t be afraid to join a class or a group. Everyone there had to muster up the courage to show up the first time. You’d be surprised how receptive people are to newcomers.

Once you get beyond the stage of making a choice in your interests and move forward to find the venue, you may consider brushing up on your social skills. It may sound silly, but after years of hanging with the same folks, our manners get rusty (or sloppy.) Believe it or not, first impressions still matter.

Looking Forward…

The most important element to keep in mind, and exude, is optimism. Others are drawn to positivity and promise. Make eye contact when talking. It’s important for the other person to see that you are listening. Plus, it will give you an opportunity to look at your conversationalist with an authentic stance.

Body language should always be appropriate. That includes not being a “close talker.” Give people their personal space. Also, feel out the situation before you make physical contact. You may be a person who loves to gesture, or tap people while you’re talking.

But remember, if someone doesn’t really know you yet, this may make them skittish to be around you if they don’t like to be touched.

We all need friends. It ‘s our connection with others that makes our lives rich and fulfilling. Keeping old friends is invaluable and precious, but new ones can add spice to our days. Keep Calm and Make Friends.

 

The Vicious Cycle… 5 Lady-Like options to help us get through them

As a woman, it’s unbelievable what we have to physically endure. I’m talking about what nature hands over to our gender. Getting a period every month for maybe 40 years of our lives is an almost surreal concept. Cramps, zits, mood swings, water retention, the cost of tampons, stained clothing, and balancing a sex-life around our “friend,” the vicious cycle…Really?

If you thought hemorrhaging for a week out of every month wasn’t gross enough, wait until you get introduced to the “mucus plug.” I’m skipping ahead, sorry. Pregnancy is miraculous and can be a human honor, but no person or book can prepare you for the experience of internally growing an alien.

The actual process of giving birth includes a level of pain unequivocal to anything else besides being stabbed with a butter knife by an elephant sitting on your pelvis while you’re upside-down in an active volcano.

Just when you thought Mother Nature’s trials’ were complete, peri-menopause introduces herself, and you suddenly wished you had the most-highly recommended exorcist’s number on your speed dial.

Again with the mood swings, the weight gain, a horrifying lack of libido, and the obnoxious flash-mob perspiration. What “they” tell you, but you can’t truly grasp until it happens, is that once you hit menopause, you grow hair—in all the wrong places.

It would be delightful if my already-thin hair from my scalp grew more, but no! Those follicles have shut down and made my head-hair even thinner—so much so that you can almost see my brain through my scalp.

Listen up, because this is the exciting part: hair starts growing out of your chin, cheeks, and even nipples. Isn’t that a beautiful visual? Of the over 50-million hair follicles covering our body, only one-fifth are on our head.

That leaves a lot of other bizarrely random places for strands to sprout. And on a TMI note, don’t expect a flourishing bush down below, if you catch my drift.

So what to do with the Hansel n’ Gretel witch chin-hair? Some doctors will prescribe a birth-control pill to prevent menopausal hair-growth. Much of the Sasquatch-look is caused by the increased Androgen levels.

Estrogen and Androgen fight it out and Androgen will win, especially if you’re obese (levels are higher.) And before going on hormone treatment (especially for unsightly fur issues), there are many options for combating the expansion or unsightliness of nature’s human pelt.

 

  1. Bleach with over-the-counter stuff
  2. Get a great pair of tweezers and block-out plucking time in your calendar.
  3. Wash at home: One homeopathic sworn-by helper is: take two teaspoons of turmeric and mix with water to make a paste. Apply to troublesome hairy areas for @ 10 minutes. After it dries, wipe off with wet cloth. Supposedly, doing this a couple of times a week—after six weeks—should remove all the nasty not-wants.
  4. Home Wax: Take 2 cups o’ sugar, ¼ cup water, and a ¼ cup of lemon juice. Heat the combo in a saucepan until you have a thick, dark liquid. After it cools (duh!) you’ll eventually spread this mixture on the hair(s). Take a strip of cotton or jeans, place it on top of the mixture while it’s hot, and yank! Tada—hairs removed. But just temporarily…
  5. Laser: After many treatments and dollars spent, this will prove to be a successful option. Just keep in mind that you’re not going to be Silky-Sadie after the first treatment.

Hey, there’s no reason for you to choose any of the above options if you’re comfy with yourself as is. Just know that other women are experiencing the same changes. And if you desire, there are ways to counter-balance the wacky-hairy happenings.

 

How Friends Can Enrich Your Holiday Spirit and Health

Sometimes holiday-time isn’t always the cheeriest. Perhaps you’re feeling stressed, lonely, or a bit bah-humbug-ish. Reaching out to friends can lift your spirits and offer the healthy boost you may need.

Who Are Your Friends?

Your friends are those who can help you celebrate the positive, enjoy the mundane, and support you through it all—including the worst of times. Sometimes this person is an old schoolmate, co-worker, neighbor, or even ex-spouse. If your friend happens to be a family member or an in-law, that’s a double bonus!

Why Friends Are Necessary

According to many health experts as well as the Mayo Clinic, friends play a significant role in our overall wellbeing. Adults with a strong support system tend to have a reduced risk of high blood pressure, depression, and obesity. Many studies have shown that those with robust friendships are even likely to live longer than their peers without the crony support.

Friends can help you:
– reduce stress by listening, talking, crying, and laughing together
– boost your self-esteem and confidence
– cope with traumatic events or illness
– choose healthier lifestyle habits (quit smoking, exercise, eat better, cut down on alcohol, etc.)

One study points out that being a role model for health and fitness rubs off on friends. Your friends can influence more positive behavior onto you, and the reciprocal holds true as well.

The Rewards are in the Effort

Maintaining a good friendship requires effort and care. Both people need to make keeping a connection a priority. Sometimes one person slacks off a bit, but that’s where the friendship requires a give-and-take (as do all types of relationships.)

Friendships are an investment

With technology, it’s pretty easy to reach and make a connection these days. Even texting “Hi!” can brighten someone’s day. Receiving a call from a friend can make your day cheerful, too. A brief email, sending a photo, or a dopey emoji works also. Facetime and Skype are great for those of us who are too far away to see each other in person.

Time For Some New Friends?

As with all types of relationships, it happens that people drift away from one another. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Sometimes life events (moving, starting families, death, divorce, etc.) create a chasm—and it is what it is.

Being in the market for a new friend is not uncommon. We just need to make ourselves receptive and available. Ways to find new friends can be by:

-taking a class
-attending community events
-taking up a new hobby
-volunteering
-joining an exercise class or group
-joining a faith-based organization
-walking your dog or walking anywhere

Don’t be shy about reaching out. You never know who wants to be your new friend! Exchange emails, make a time to meet for a walk, coffee, or lunch.

Making and maintaining friendships satisfy the soul, and in turn, improve your overall health. Remember to always be kind, trustworthy, and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. You will attract what you offer…

And, always keep in mind, you are never alone. There is always someone else who feels the same and has the same needs. If you’re a good friend, you’ll make and keep good friends. Check out more tips on good health and relationships at www.GetThrive.com

 

 

4 Stress-Free Ways to Connect with Others: Feeling Better in a Lonely World

We can speculate as to the many reasons why such an enormous amount of Americans report feeling lonely. She’s lonely because she works all day, doesn’t have a boyfriend or three cats, and eats all her meals at home. He’s lonely because he spends 12 hours a day playing video games. The boy is lonely because he’s been shuffled from one foster home to another and has decided not to invest any emotions into one more adult. The scenarios are endless, but the through line is “connection.” A lack of authentic, deep connection between people is amiss, and the fallout is a cultural epidemic of loneliness.

You thought you were feeling bad before you read this! I’ll toss out some facts so we know what we’re dealing with, but then, we’ll take a look at how feeling lonely doesn’t need to be part of your daily repertoire any longer. OK, so, about 70 years ago, less than 10% of American households had just one person it in. Now it’s over 25%. Living alone, doesn’t equate to loneliness, per se. However, lack of face-to-face personal interaction is the greatest cause of loneliness.

John Cacioppo, the director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago, is an expert on the topic of loneliness. He believes we have never been lonelier since the growth of social media. It’s a false sense of having company. “…Surrogates can never make up completely for the absence of the real thing”.

Some sources go as far as to suggest that using Facebook and Twitter make us more narcissistic rather than connected. Nonetheless, Cacioppo would concur that in order to diminish feelings of loneliness, you’ve got to get out. You don’t have to hop into crowds, crash parties, or meet with old girlfriends or boyfriends. But this girlfriend has done some research, and wants to share several ways to get off the loneliness train.

Loneliness is psychological, but it also affects your brain. One study showed that loneliness even affects the basic transcription of DNA. We’ve got to rid ourselves of this dis-ease! Here are some alternatives we can call into action:

1. Volunteer in a group with people: Being of service gives us a feeling of value. A lot of times we don’t go out or make new friends because we don’t feel worthy. Start boosting your esteem by helping others. Deal poker in a retirement home. Teach tumbling to pre-schoolers. Help with local 5K races in your area for charities.

2. Join meet-up groups: Look online and you will find thousands of groups in your area of like-minded peeps. Steer toward the non-hook-up crowds. Hiking buddies, paleontology–lovers, trivia buffs. Check a few out, in person. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

3. Take a weekend sabbatical from electronics: See what you come up with when you can’t rely on your “virtual” friends to keep you company. Go to a store or a restaurant. You’ll find yourself making more eye contact when you don’t have a phone to stare at. It will be uncomfortable at first, but so rewarding when you power through.

4. Allow yourself to be vulnerable: If you’re not willing to be open and authentic, you won’t reap the rewards of true familial satisfaction. To feel un-lonely, you have to get connected. The only way to do that is to be brave and wear your heart on your sleeve—or at least nearby. It will be worth the courage.

I’m convinced we need others (face-to-face) in our lives to keep us feeling full and intensely alive; It’s backed by scientific study—and a diary I’ve kept for many years. Start with a purposeful perception. Look at the things you’re grateful for. Gratitude will give you a sense of worthiness and positivity. From there, you can conquer having dinner with someone else at least once a week! Good luck and may your lonely days become memories of the past…

 

5 Tips to Beat Holiday Stress

The holidays are a great time of the year. But for some people, it can also be a very stressful time. This is often because the holidays are super busy—and there’s always something to do or think about, from traveling, preparing for family visits, buying gifts, cooking, shopping, and attending parties. The list seems to go on…

Holiday duties should be handled in advance whenever possible. So give yourself time by making a list of the things that need to be done, and start early. Here are some other tips to help you beat the holiday stress blues…

1. Set Priorities

When you have many tasks to handle, you may feel really overwhelmed. It helps to set priorities in advance. Take care of the most essential tasks first and work down the list. What is most important to you? It should be connecting with your family first, and then everything else comes after. This includes making the appropriate food choices and the shopping experience.

2. Set Practical Expectations

You are not going to have everything done perfectly. And guess what? It is quite okay! You are not going to be able to control each and every detail and outcome. However, you can mentally prepare for the worst by setting practical expectations and remaining calm and positive if something goes wrong, especially at the last minute.

3. Set a Realistic Budget

Money, and the lack of it, can cause holiday stress. Avoid this by setting a realistic budget. This means that for every gift you intend to buy, you should have a specific monetary amount to spend. Don’t deviate from your budget. And this includes money spent on decorations, food, entertainment, and travel, too.

Don’t try to impress family and friends with highly priced gifts. The gifts you give should be thoughtful. Try small gifts with handmade cards this year or plan a “Secret Santa” gift-giving session as another option.

4. Plan ahead

It is important to plan ahead before your guests arrive. Set aside certain days to go shopping, to cook, and to bake. Plan the menu before going food shopping. Get as much help before and after the holiday celebration – for the preparation and clean up phase.

5. Take it Down a Notch

Don’t take it so seriously! The holiday season is going to come and go, just like every other year. While it may be important to you to make an impression with your yearly holiday rituals, you have to do what is in your best interest. Nothing should be set in stone.

If you have to make some minor changes to lessen your stress, then by all means do so. Let’s say you used to make an ice sculpture every year. Why not relinquish that idea this year and do something different (and a little less extravagant)?

In spite of your best efforts, there may be times when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated, tired, or even depressed during the holidays. Remember, the holidays are a joyous time and are meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. When that happens, it is time to sit down and take a breather. Never be afraid to seek the help of a medical professional if you feel you need it.